Portland, oh, Portland, How I Love Thee

There are days when I wish I had my own digital camera. This camera would document everything that I have deemed worth doing that day visually. However, I’m a bit on the poor side, so unless I wish to dip into my college funds for this nifty little device, I’m stuck until I find a job and can start earning money.

This was one of those days.

I traversed the Santiam Pass, slugged my way through the city of Salem, paused to get something to eat at a local restaurant called San Blas in Molalla, before heading to Milwaukie. Clearly, the names of these cities will mean nothing to you, but to me, Santiam and Bennett Pass separates me from the home I knew previously to Bend: Molalla. I grew up there, that’s where I spent sixteen years of my life, and that’s where a lot of my memories are. In Milwaukie, one of my best friend’s lives in her own apartment and I hope to call it my own home some day soon, too.

But this silly reminiscing isn’t what’s interesting; no, it’s more of the day I had when I finally arrived in Milwaukie. Around four pm-ish, my friend and I went, quite literally, across the street for a Slurpee from 7/11. Yum, watermelon-lime icy mush. Then we decided where to go from there. We could go to the mall, we could go to the movies, we could stay in and watch a movie, it all depended on what I wanted to do.

So we went and saw That’s My Boy. It was… actually not that bad. I don’t normally laugh out loud at comedy movies unless it’s incredibly funny to me. And I laughed. Lucky Andy is so cute, too. Ha. But it wasn’t the movie that got me: it was the short drive from where my friend lives to the Lloyd Center, where we’d be catching the flick at one of the two Lloyd Center theaters. Now, I’ve been through Portland before, even if it was just in a car or on a bus on the way to the Keller Auditorium, where many of my elementary field trips ended up going. It never struck me as it did today, though. Maybe it was because I was with a friend, that I was seeing it through the eyes of a nineteen year old girl who has literally nothing to lose by moving here, I don’t know. But what I saw… What I saw was the opportunity to become an adult in a world that has decided to perpetually treat me as a child (okay, so sometimes I can be childish; I’m getting better at it, though!). I saw a city that I had never seen before because I didn’t care. Now I do, and I know that I want to live here. I want to work here, learn here, become myself here. Can you blame me? I’ve been to New York and Portland takes the cake for me.

Or doughnut. We circled the block several times before and after the movie at the doughnut shop I’ve been dying to try: Voodoo Doughnuts. Oh my god, just the simple cake doughnut with sprinkles I had after dinner was simply divine. I cannot wait to sample more. There’s a bacon maple bar sitting in a colorful pink box with black type on it that reads, among other things, Voodoo Doughnuts, just waiting for me to eat it. But I’ll have to wait until morning to consume my heart attack, just to say I ate it for breakfast.

Speaking of food… There’s this restaurant in Burnside Bridge (same area as the local Chinatown strip and Voodoo Doughnuts) that was iperocha. If you recognize that as Greek, congratulations, Alexi’s is, in fact, Greek. I had seen it when we first went down to circle around VD, and for whatever reason, my stomach told me that it would be good. The half eaten gyro sitting in the fridge is saying “Eat me! Eat me!” was good. I had a sort-of gyro last month, when my mother stuck a sausage link in some pita bread, put tzatziki on it, and called it a gyro. What a crock. The only similarities were the tzatziki. Which is delicious. Tender lamb, tomatoes, onions, sprinkles of feta cheese… My heart beats faster as I think  about it. Also ordered was feta cheese flambeed in ouzo. Oooh, my, with some of the home-made bread, that was awesome. Not as in radical, but awe-inspiring.

I haven’t even touched this place yet! And when I come back next, I’m hoping to have access to a camera to document the experiences. And I’m getting tired of having hardly any pictures of my friends and I. Seriously.

Now, here’s hoping to going strawberry picking tomorrow. If you’ve never had an Oregon strawberry, shame on you. That’s one berry that never makes it to the bucket when I’m in a U-Pick patch. It goes directly to my stomach.

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